Would you consider powering your car not with petrol or biodiesel, but human fat? That's the question being asked all around the blogosphere as claims that a California cosmetic surgeon ran his SUV and his girlfriend's car on the liquid remains from liposuction. Perhaps this "lipo diesel" could solve two problems at once, alternative fuel and obesity? Experts and environmentalists are weighing in on the ethics or the science of using lipo diesel.
The Story - and It's A Goodie
Times are tough for everyone - including Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeons. California has the highest fuel prices in the United States. Always looking to save a buck, Dr. Carl Allen Bittner of Beverly Hills Liposculpture claimed on his website that he ran his Ford SUV and his galpal's Lincoln from suctioned fat. He also claimed that he had permission from his patients to do so.
Not content with the free gas, Dr. Bittner had to go and blab about his flab. He stated the now-defunct website www.lipodiesel.com touting his new environmentally-friendly alternative fuel. However, he did not detail exactly how he rendered the liposuctioned fat into car fuel.
This makes folks like Wired.com doubt that lipo diesel actually existed and that the whole story by the good doctor was most likely a publicity-seeking stunt.
Paging Dr. Bittner!
Three of Dr. Bittner's former patients are taking the claims seriously and are suing him. They also claim that Dr. Bittner and his assistant (the galpal with the Lincoln) did not do their jobs properly, suctioning off more fat that was necessary.
The California Board of Health is also taking the claims seriously, because liposuctioned fat is considered medical waste. In the state of California, all medical waste must be immediately and properly disposed of, even if a use could be found for it. But really, could using human fat be any more dangerous to the public health than using fossil fuels?
State officials shut down Beverly Hills Liposculpture and Dr. Bittner's website. There are no plans to reopen either.
And what does Dr. Bittner have to say for his defence? Well, no one knows, because he's disappeared. It's thought that he might be in either Columbia or South Africa, but at this point, your guess is as good as mine.